WWE is heading back to a much warmer destination for this year’s “Showcase of the Immortals.”
WrestleMania 33 will emanate from Orlando, FL’s Camping World Stadium. Fans will be treated to the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” of wrestling cards as Raw and SmackDown Live’s finest go to war. Goldberg will defend his newly won Universal Championship against his fiercest rival, Brock Lesnar. Bray Wyatt will take on his former ally Randy Orton in a match for the WWE Championship. Roman Reigns will attempt to get rid of the old guard as he does battle with The Undertaker. These three bouts and the rest of the stacked card are all WrestleMania worthy in our eyes.
As we get closer and closer to WWE’s biggest show of the year, let’s bask in all its hype by breaking down our predictions for each matchup.
Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)
Predictions & Winner: This is quite the shock! The internet wrestling rumor mill had us geared up for a multi-man ladder match featuring the best of the Cruiserweight Division. But to our surprise and satisfaction, a one-on-one bout has been signed for the Cruiserweight Championship. Austin Aries recovered from the injury he suffered while in NXT (we’re going to miss his commentary, though…) and now he’s ready to take on the king of the division, Neville. This is much more preferable than the ‘Mania ladder match for a title that throws a bunch of guys in with no real storyline behind it. This grudge match has been built up solidly and its turned into one of our most anticipated matches of the show. This will no doubt be an impressive bout (especially if it’s given 10+ minutes). Neville has enjoyed a pretty good reign as champion and we honestly don’t see it coming to a close just yet. We’re going to pick Neville as the winner here, but “Double A’s” gonna stay in the mix with him until the next PPV.
WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss to Defend Against All SmackDown Women Who Are Available to Compete
Update: SURPRISE!!! Well, not really since Naomi’s shocking ‘Mania 33 appearance (WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN SAVED AS A SURPRISE!) won’t be a thing. She’s officially been entered into this match now that she’s recovered from her injury. We’re still picking her as the winner of this one, though.
Predictions & Winner: It sucks that Naomi had to relinquish the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship due to a nagging injury. We figured she’d get a good run with the title, but that dream scenario got cut short before it could really get going. The title landed back in the hands of Alexa Bliss, but she’s heading right into a huge challenge at ‘Mania 33. Daniel Bryan made it clear that Bliss has to defend her division’s top prize against every SD Live women’s competitor. So with Alexa Bliss and Naomi (just wait because we’re going to speak on her inclusion later…), that leaves:
– Becky Lynch
– Eva Marie
– Mickie James
Our gut’s telling us that Naomi will make a surprise re-appearance since ‘Mania 33 hails from her home state. It makes the most sense for her to come back as the conquering hometown hero and reclaim her spot as the rightful queen of SD Live’s Women’s Division. So that’s the result we’re predicting will occur before our very eyes here. Her healing process occurred in February and is slated to last two months, but we’re still expecting her to come back early. Naomi will show up, shock the crowd, surprise the champion and leave with the title back around her waist.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Cesaro and Sheamus (Triple Threat Ladder Tag Team Match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
Predictions & Winners: In all honesty here, we haven’t been that intrigued in the tag team division on Raw and SD Live. There just isn’t a whole lot of good feuds or standout matches to look back on since the brand split birthed each tag team roster. Enzo and Cass have cooled off in our eyes, Cesaro and Sheamus are just…there and Gallows & Anderson still feel like damaged goods at this point. Throwing all three teams into a Triple Threat Tag Team Match like this is fine, we guess. We don’t care too much about who will capture the titles, but we’ll still make a pick here – Enzo and Cass will get the big babyface pop when they get the W! So yeah, the super charismatic good guys will FINALLY win the Raw Tag Team Championship after several failed title shots.
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: This “friends turned enemies” feud has been built up ever so nicely ever since JeriKO became a thing. While Owens’ run as Universal Champion left a lot to be desired, we still enjoyed the comedy styling of an always surly Owens and happier than usual Jericho. Owens’ turn on Jericho during their surprisingly entertaining celebratory segment hurt us more than expected. That’s why we’re so invested in watching this huge grudge match go down. Jericho tends to go that much harder in the ring when he’s on the ‘Mania stage. And Owens is one of the best wrestler’s on the Raw brand, so we know he’s prepared to do that once more. This one’s going to be a war. After the dust finally settles, only one proud Canadian will walk away as the victor – Y2J! Owens’ dastardly act against Jericho has to lead to witnessing such a vile man getting his comeuppance. And that rightful revenge from Jericho is what we’re expecting to see here.
4th Annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
Predictions & Winner: Okay, so here’s the lineup of participants entering the 4th iteration of this annual battle royal:
– Mojo Rawley
– Apollo Crews
– Big Show
– Curt Hawkins
– Braun Strowman
– Curtis Axel
– Bo Dallas
– Jinder Mahal
– Sami Zayn
– Tyler Breeze
– Dolph Ziggler
– Heath Slater
– Jason Jordan
– Chad Gable
– Jey Uso
– Jimmy Uso
– Mark Henry
– Sin Cara
– Titus O’Neil
– Aiden English
– Simon Gotch
– Tian Bing
So of course the giants who’re a part of this massive brawl will dominate. And it’s a safe bet that one of them will make it to the final roundup of guys left battling in the ring. Let’s just keep it a buck with each other – we all know who’s walking out of this matchup as the newest trophy holder. The bearded badass with the theme music that starts with a blood curling roar – BRAUN STROWMAN! He’s been built up all year as an unstoppable beast. His loss against Reigns at Fastlane 2017 didn’t deter his push too badly, but this battle royal win could heal all the booking wounds he still took from that feud with Reigns. Braun’s our guy here!
Seth Rollins vs. Triple H (Non-Sanctioned Match)
Predictions & Winner: Remember the last time Triple H got himself involved in a Non-Sanctioned Match? It was against his best friend turned enemy HBK and turned out be one of the best matches of 2002. With Seth Rollins stepping into the role of HBK this time around, we’re expecting a violent battle on par with the one contested at SummerSlam 2002. Rollins’ surgically repaired knee will be a huge hindrance to him, no doubt. But the added adrenaline and bright lights of ‘Mania 33 will cause him to step up to the plate and fight his heart out. HHH and Rollins are no longer the unstoppable Authority combo they used to be thanks to HHH’s backstabbing turn. So now they’ll get the chance to physically act out their grievances during this battle with relaxed rules. Expect a lot of weapons getting thrown around and some outside interference. So here’s the thing – remember when Finn Balor got injured after his match with Rollins at last year’s SummerSlam? That event will play a huge part in how this match unfolds. After Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn’s interference subsides, Finn will then make a shocking appearance. To do what, exactly? He’ll jump all over Rollins as revenge for sustaining an injury from him and then pledge his allegiance to the main who hired him in the 1st place. HHH will get the win while his newest ally will begin a new feud with Rollins when he’s good and healthy. Finn, Gallows and Anderson vs. Rollins and whoever decides to roll with him will be one of Raw’s biggest summer storylines.
Every year, we look forward to the NXT roster members who get the call up to Raw and SmackDown Live. These are our 2017 predictions for who’ll make the big move.